Unique program helps first class of residents call South Florida home
When Boca Raton Regional Hospital welcomed the first class of internal
medicine residents from Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E.
Schmidt College of Medicine in July, the welcoming extended far beyond
the halls of the Hospital. Dozens of Boca Raton community members joined
together to create the Community Partners Network, a unique program providing
social support and mentorship to the medical residents and their families,
many of whom are new to the state and even the country.
The program connects volunteers from the community with each of the 36
medical residents, helping them acclimate to life in South Florida —
from finding a comfortable place to live to finding a reliable babysitter
for the kids — and offering additional support along the way.
“We started the Community Partners Network to welcome these young
doctors and their families to the community, to partner with them through
this transition and to provide a ‘soft’ place to land in the
most stressful of times,” said Paula Yeager, Chair of the program.
This includes showing the residents around the community so they know
where to find stores, restaurants, parks, temples, churches and more.
The Partners have also organized several social outings and networking
events, such as a picnic barbeque and a formal inauguration ceremony,
to build camaraderie among the residents and community members.
Officials at Boca Raton Regional Hospital say this level of outreach and
community engagement in support of an academic residency program is unparalleled.
“I’ve been in academic medicine for more than 30 years, and
I can truly say that this program — what the community has done
for these residents — is unlike anything I have seen nor heard of
before,” said Charles Posternack, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Boca
Regional and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Schmidt College
The residents, too, say they could not have foreseen such a warm response.
“All of us have friends in other residency programs all over the
country and … no one has provided this kind of community welcome
for our friends in other programs,” said resident Jessica Henry,
MD, during the inauguration ceremony. “We are benefiting very much
and we really appreciate it.”
The underlying goal of the Community Partners Network is to show the residents
that South Florida is a great place to live and, more importantly, to
practice medicine. Studies have shown that about 50 percent of doctors
practice within 20 miles of their residences. Amid increasing demand for
medical care in the region, the Partners are doing their personal part
to reduce the shortage of area physicians. In a true win-win for everyone
involved, the community has come together to support FAU’s internal
medicine residents, who in turn will aid the greater community as healthcare
About Boca Raton Regional Hospital – Advancing the boundaries of medicine.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an advanced, tertiary medical center
(BRRH.com) with 400 beds and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff.
The Hospital is a recognized leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease
and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women’s health,
emergency medicine and the neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art
diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a designated Comprehensive
Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished
Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for the 10th year in a row
and was named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2011, 2012,
2013 and 2014 both by Healthgrades®. Boca Raton Regional Hospital
was also recognized for the third consecutive year in
U.S. News & World Report’s 2013–2014 Best Hospitals listing as a top-ranked hospital in the
South Florida metropolitan area.
Brandon Bielich, 561.955.4706